Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Children's Death Result Of Government Failure

Children's Death Result Of Government Failure

Wednesday 12 Nov 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today expressed deep concern that the fundamental failure of proper social work practice by the Labour Government's agencies contributed to the deaths of Saliel Aplin and Olympia Jetson.

"The reports of the Children's Commissioner and the Chief Social Worker into the murder of the two girls, by their stepfather in December 2001, identify serious practice errors and flawed investigations as major contributors to this tragedy," Dr Newman said.

"In particular, the sending of a letter to the family home - alleging `new information' - which could have been intercepted by the violent and potentially abusive stepfather was considered to be `unsafe practice and unnecessary' and `the letter worded as it was, should not have been sent'.

"The Children's Commissioner and Chief Social Worker both acknowledge the difficulties in dealing with complex cases in a fragmented social work environment. They unanimously called for a more co-ordinated approach.

"These reports, on top of last week's damning baseline review, of the Department of Child, Youth and Family, must act as a catalyst for change. New Zealand should adopt a zero tolerance approach to child abuse, and the way we deal with child welfare must be changed.

"The Children's Commissioner's call for community-based child protection teams does not go far enough.

"Firstly, the police's role in investigating child abuse should be strengthened, and modelled on that of Australia. Their objective must be to establish whether a crime has taken place, and their focus must be on bringing perpetrators to justice. This would send a strong signal that society condemns child abusers and that damaging children will no longer be tolerated.

"Secondly, CYF should be rebuilt as a one-stop community-based family agency - with police, welfare, education and health professionals working as a team to reduce child abuse in the community. This would allow information sharing and co-ordination on a level simply not possible through standalone agencies.

"This more pro-active and holistic approach is needed to ensure that the Government's resources are there to help prevent child abuse, to bring abusers to justice, and to avoid terrible tragedies," Dr Newman said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news